Great and talented staff create the soul of your business, they’re the X-factor which brings your restaurant to life. These ‘service junkies’ get a high from their positive interaction with customers and start every service excited about getting their next ‘hit’.
As we emerge into a post-Covid world, things like social distancing and face masks can really challenge the customer experience. For this reason, more than ever, we need to ensure we’re delivering amazing customer service; and that starts by employing the right staff.
But, good staff are incredibly hard to find and sometimes we feel like we have no choice but to hire the first warm body which replies to your phone call.
While hiring can be hard, I strongly urge you not to cut corners in your hunt for the right employee. Not just because they deliver great service which makes our customers feel good, but it actually has a massive impact on:
- Average ticket value
- Repeat business
- New business; and,
- Engagement and retention of your staff base.
Poor customer service affects all these things too!
While we know the importance of hiring only great and talented staff, let’s take a look at how and why we need to ensure each hire is a good one.
And, to make life a little easier I’ve created, especially for you, a free downloadable cheat sheet, rammed full of tips and tricks to help you attract and retain great and talented staff.
Putting Character Above Skill
When hiring staff, I recommend to my clients they put a higher weighting on a candidate’s emotional skills and character than their technical abilities.
I’m not saying that technical skill aren’t important; they are. But, in most cases, the technical abilities can be taught to staff with a great character, but great character is almost impossible to teach to those without it.
For me, great employee character is built on four key pillars and these must be present in each staff member you hire:
- Self-awareness, relates to an employee’s ability to be aware of how their personality, mood and behavior is being received by other staff and your customers. In the context of hospitality, good self-awareness allows the employee to tweak their service delivery to the guests’ requirements.
- A strong work ethic requires integrity and professionalism as well as a dedication to consistently delivering outstanding work. These employees will also have a keen sense of responsibility and teamwork.
- Initiative, is a rare and precious commodity demonstrated through anticipating and assisting with the needs of the rest of the team, problem solving and a willingness to take responsibility.
- Empathy is the care and awareness of how both your customers and team are feeling and responding accordingly.
At the start of this post I listed a bunch of benefits associated with the delivery of outstanding customer service; let’s now explore these in a bit more detail.
Improving Staff Retention
A major upside of great staff who genuinely enjoy delivering outstanding service, is that they typically love, and are highly engaged with their work. And, we all know that it’s much easier to retain engaged, rather than disenfranchised employees.
Making It Easier To Find Good Staff
Not only will you find it easier to keep good staff, but these engaged employees will make it easier for you to attract more good staff, as good people tend to like working with other good people.
In addition to this, the quality service you’re delivering will make your restaurant an attractive place to work.
Increasing Ticket Value
True service professionals build a rapport with their customers and accurately anticipate their needs.
This kind of dynamic virtually always increases the average spend of your customers, and increases their perceived value of their dining experience.
Building Your Customer Base
You can be assured the great service your team have delivered will help keep your restaurant top of mind with your customers. They will keep on coming back, and tell their friends; driving both repeat business and helping market your business for free!
Conversely a customer service failure will negatively affect all of these things.
IN SUMMARY . . .
No matter what, don’t cut corners when employing staff. Hire only great and talented staff with a real weighting on their emotional skills and character.
Your efforts here will be rewarded by increasing retention, decreasing recruitment costs, increasing customer spend and better profitability. . .just as importantly, I guarantee you’ll have more fun working with an engaged team of service junkies!
Employing and retaining staff can be a challenge for sure. To make it a bit easier, I’ve created a comprehensive cheat sheet loaded full of tips and tricks to help you out.